Some Personal News
On failing and landing somewhere better.
Hi friends. Today’s Tuesday essay is something a little different, and a lot more personal than what I usually write, which is why the paywall shows up much earlier than usual. I am committed to keeping Burnt Toast content as accessible as possible, but I’ve also realized that there are stories I want to tell the entire Internet, and then there are stories I want to tell, but to a slightly less crowded room. This is not because I think folks on the free list are any less engaged or respectful than paid subscribers. It’s because I manage a rotating cast of trolls, and this is a piece that just isn’t, in any way, for them. But it is about a big shift in my life, which now feels right to share here. Thanks so much for understanding and supporting my work.
Last month, I packed my family up for our end of summer vacation. We go away for about a week every year. Our criteria are unoriginal: Driving distance, cute and dog-friendly house rental, near water. We love Maine, Vermont, the Connecticut shoreline and Lake George, which is where we headed this year, for the second time. Packing for this trip is always a solid half day of labor for me: Remember the swim stuff (which includes which type of sunscreen each child will tolerate and the swim goggles they refuse to swim without). Remember enough warm layers and rain layers, just in case. Remember all the random kid medications we hopefully won’t need but might if I don’t pack them. Somehow divine which art supplies and toys will actually get used in early mornings or rainy afternoons, but won’t trash the AirBnB. Plan for groceries. Pack five million snacks. For the love of God, remember the iPad chargers.
This year, there was one less suitcase in the car. After 14 years of marriage and almost 25 years together, Dan and I separated earlier this summer.